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Lifebuoy helping a child to reach 5!

Handwashing with soap, a key intervention in saving lives!

South Africa Lifebouy meeting with kids South Africa Lifebouy handwash deofresh

2.8 million children throughout Africa do not reach the age of five due to illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. In an effort to help reduce child mortality and encourage the life-saving habit of washing hands with soap, Unilever’s Lifebuoy brand launched the ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign in 2012.

The initiative, which forms part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, is one of the world’s largest behaviour change programmes to date. Key to its success is its endorsement of the Unilever “Five levers of change” model, an application that promotes the use of a regular set of principles to ensure a lasting and positive behaviour change to handwashing.

Thus far Lifebuoy has reached over 330 million people globally and 11.5 million locally with its 21-day behaviour change programme.

Adopting a two pillar approach, the initiative focusses on a neonatal programme which aids in mothers and health care workers becoming ‘agents of change’ and an interactive schools programme to change the behaviours of schoolchildren and their parents.

Teachers and Lifebuoy promoters are used as facilitators to educate the kids in primary school about the correct method of hand washing and to wash their hands with soap during five specific occasions. This is done through interactive educational activities, like song writing, games, comic books and pledges.

In addition, by celebrating Global Handwashing Day on 15 October with key stakeholders, the brand is promoting Unilever’s vision to influence government policy in order to make hygiene behaviour change education part of every school curriculum.

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